Goal Setting

Changing a child’s behaviours start after we have changed our behaviour as parents. Goal setting as we already know involves the development of an action plan that will motivate and guide you toward a desired result. In short, it’s a personal development; which means there are things about your child that needs change because every development comes with a level of change.

So, think about what you would like to change in yourself and in your child’s behaviour. First, you must think of What the behaviour really means and what you want the child to do instead of that problem behaviour. Ensure not to change too many things at once, keep your goals simple and realistic so you can achieve them. Choose one or two skills and set your goals bearing in mind the functional age of the child.  Examples of goals;

  • Tim will not become disruptive during a conversation
  • Tim will learn to complete a task
  • Mummy will learn to keep the language positive
  • Tim will learn to accept no. Mummy will learn to stay calm and not yell.

It’s one thing to set goals, it’s another to follow through with the goals. For effective monitoring and evaluation of your goals, it is important to keep track.

  • It helps you to focus on the important things you need to do towards achieving your goals
  • It gives you a chance to check out whether what you think about your child’s behaviour is true (for example, does your child say No to every instruction?).
  • It helps you check your own reactions to your child and see when and why problems happen
  • It helps you see if anything is changing (getting better, worse or staying the same)
  • It helps you see when you have reached your goal.

You can keep track using a behaviour diary by writing down when and where a problem behaviour occurred, what happened before (what triggered or caused it) and what happened afterwards (how you reacted). This will help you see:

  • Patterns in your child’s behaviour
  • How often the behaviour occurs
  • How you consistently deal with your child’s behaviour
  • Possible triggers or causes
  • Possible accidental rewards


“Change is not always easy especially when it’s not on your own terms”

It’s very important not to fall into the escalation trap that comes with change.